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Butterfly Garden

Passion Flower

Passion Flower

passiflora incense 

  • Common name: Passion flower, passion vine
  • Scientific name: Passiflora incense
  • Family name: Passifloraceae
  • Origin: Mexico, Central and South America
  • Height: 6-10 ft
  • Width: 5-8 ft
  • Growth: Fast
  • Zone: 6a-10b
  • Light needs: Full sun to partial shade
  • Salt tolerance: Moderate
  • Soil/pH/Texture: Prefers well-drained sandy, loamy, or chalky soil, acidic to mildly alkaline (pH 5.6 – 7.8)
  • Moisture: Regular water needs. Should be watered regularly, but can tolerate dry conditions.
  • Drought tolerance: High
  • Pests/diseases: Passiflora incense is a host plant for Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwing caterpillars, which eat its leaves. Otherwise, it is not particularly susceptible to pests and diseases.
  • Growing conditions: Best grown in sunny areas with moist, well-drained soil. This plant is a climber, so it will need a fence, trellis, or arbor to spread and flourish. It is a fast grower and needs plenty of room away from other plants to grow well.
  • Characteristics: Leaves are simple, broad, and have three points. Stems are herbaceous and flexible, and use tendrils to grab onto objects. Flowers are large and showy; they have 10 purple petals, a fringed, purple-and-white corona, and a pronounced yellow style and stamens. Flowers are fragrant. Parts of the plant, such as the leaves, are toxic, but the fruit is edible.
  • Propagation: Through cuttings or by seed.
  • Wildlife: This is the host plant for the Gulf Fritillary and Zebra Longwing – the butterflies lay their eggs on the tendrils of the plant, and the caterpillars eat the leaves after hatching. The flowers also attract other butterflies, bees, and birds for their nectar.
  • Facts: The fruit can be eaten raw or made into jelly. It is a hybrid of two other passion vines, Passiflora incarnata and Passiflora cinccinata.
  • Designer considerations: It makes for a great decorative plant along fences or trellises. Its bright, showy flowers can make it the centerpiece of any garden. Additionally, it is a must-have for any butterfly garden, since it is the host plant for both the Zebra Longwing and Gulf Fritillary butterflies.